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Sarah Lynch column: Dip recipes can add flavor with fewer calories

9:55 PM, Jan. 9, 2013  |  Comments
Simple Guacamole has 109 calories per serving.
Simple Guacamole has 109 calories per serving.
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New Year's Eve marked the beginning of dip season. From football playoff games leading to the Super Bowl to college basketball's March Madness, this is the time of year we are exposed to dips along with an assortment of foods to dip in them. Here are some great recipes for low calorie dips (125 calories or less per 1/4 cup serving).

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Place 1 cup roasted red bell pepper, 2 tablespoons toasted almonds, 1 ounce whole-grain bread, 1 garlic clove, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon water and teaspoon smoked paprika in a food processor; process until smooth.

Serves 4 (serving size 1/4 cup).

Calories: 122. Fat: 8.2 grams. Saturated Fat: 2 grams.

Simple Guacamole

Place 2 large ripe, peeled avocados in a medium bowl and mash roughly with a fork. Add 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 minced garlic clove; mash to desired consistency. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.

Serves 6 (serving size 1/4cup).

Calories: 109. Fat: 9.8 grams. Saturated Fat: 1.4 grams.

Creamy Spinach and Feta Dip

Place 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt, 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, 2 ounces softened one-third reduced-fat cream cheese, 1/4cup low-fat sour cream and 1 crushed garlic clove in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon yogurt mixture into a medium bowl; stir in 1 1/2 cups finely chopped spinach, 1 tablespoon fresh dill, and one-eighth teaspoon black pepper. Cover and chill.

Serves 8 (serving size 1/4cup).

Calories 75. Fat: 5.1 grams. Saturated Fat: 3.3 grams.

Be smart when you dip. A scoop-shaped chip can easily hold a tablespoon of dip. After just four chips, you've already had a one-fourth cup portion. Use fresh cut vegetables as your dippers to save calories.

Sarah Lynch is a registered dietitian at Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital in Weston.

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